Spotlighting a HIHI pilot with My OT & Me with the potential to reduce paediatric OT waiting lists
Health Innovation Hub Ireland were delighted to work with My OT & Me an Irish start-up founded by Jessica Kennedy, Senior Paediatric Occupational Therapist and Seán Ó Tuama. My OT & Me is an online paediatric occupational therapy (OT) resource to support children and families who are in need of OT support. It aims
to support and empower as many families as possible in an innovative, accessible and interactive way. The focus is on positive child development, encouraging independence and creating confident children. Paediatric Occupational Therapy helps children and young people with different needs and abilities to become as independent as possible by developing the skills they need to perform the purposeful activities that make up everyday life.
HSE Primary Care Occupational Therapy Services are experiencing increased numbers of referrals. This can be challenging particularly in times of limited resources, long waiting lists and redeployment of existing staff to COVID-19 testing duties. There is also a significant demand for private paediatric OT services in Ireland amongst parents, caregivers, educators, professionals and students.
Jane O’ Flynn acting Operations Manager HIHI welcomed the pilot “It is really important that children receive early intervention for their occupational therapy needs. The HIHI pilot of the My OT & Me programme with HSE community paediatric OTs in Cork and their clients demonstrated how children and their families benefited from completing this combined eHealth and activity programme at home. There is great potential for this innovative programme to help over 18,000 children waiting from HSE paediatric OT assessments in Ireland.”
My OT & Me’s platform is a unique telehealth-based product providing online paediatric occupational therapy resources to support children and families who are in need of OT support. It provides information through structured high quality educational videos for parents covering a range of OT topics. Children are provided with My OT & Me’s product, Octobox to support them with skill acquisition in a fun and interactive way.
Health Innovation Hub Ireland supported the My OT & Me Innovation Journey via a pilot with North Lee Primary Care Occupational Therapy Department, HSE with twenty-six children and their families in Cork who were awaiting intervention services. The children and their parents or guardians undertook a dedicated 12 week My OT & Me programme which concluded in February 2022.
A significant outcome of the pilot was that
- half of all children did not need further HSE OT support at the end of the programme. As this programme is carried out by parents and children at home.
- it can free up OTs to see other children and thus help reduce waiting times.
- The families who piloted the My OT & Me programme at home responded positively. The programme gave 100% of families more confidence and provided them with practical strategies to support their child and they found the format of the programme manageable.
- 85% reported that the programme gave them additional knowledge and understanding.
- 71% said their child enjoyed the programme, they saw an improvement in their child’s skills and the programme helped the child meet the goals set for them.
The feedback from the OTs was also positive. 100% of OTs would recommend it to other Paediatric OTs, 80% would like to continue to have access to the programme for their clients and 60% considered that the piloted programme would help reduce waiting times.
Speaking on conclusion of the successful HIHI pilot Jess Kennedy Co-founder, My OT & Me said “ Having access to clinical teams through a dedicated programme like this has fast-tracked our commercial implementation.”
Read the case study and a selection of our other work here Case Studies – Health Innovation Hub Ireland (hih.ie)